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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Why The Loss Of The Super Sunday Stakes Matters

The loss of the Colonial, Battle Of Brandywine and Valley Forge not only leaves a gaping hole in the August stakes schedule, it also denies those colts that failed to win the Hambletonion and Meadowlands Pace an opportunity to redeem themselves. Super Sunday was positioned perfectly for a challenger to emerge in the classes represented.

The Colonial and Hambletonion were won by the same trotters in five of the first six years they paralleled each other, however since Flirth did the double in 1973 that has only happened three times. And in the 26 years since Mack Lobell won both in 1987, Windsongs Legacy is the only totter to double. Last year Spider Blue Chip won his Hambo elimination only to falter in the final. However, he then won a leg of the PASS, the Colonial, the PASS Championship, Bluegrass and BC. When he won the Colonial it was on—RFL had a genuine challenger. The previous year Goo was a convincing winner over Hambletonion champ Market Share in the Colonial but his health gave way before he could capitalize on it. Still, success in the Colonial created that opportunity.

The Battle has been won by the same colt as the Adios once since the former reappeared in 2007, while three Pace winners have doubled in the race. It played a crucial role in 2013 as Captaintreacherous, with his narrow loss to Sunshine Beach, suddenly became vulnerable.

There is no open for sophomore pacing fillies on Hambletonion Day. There will probably be a gap between the Adioo Volo, a week before that, and the Shady Daisy in early September. Yeah, there will be sire stakes action for all three classes, but the open races will fade from consciousness and many will lose interest.

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